Sydney: Muslim women would have to remove their veils and show their faces to police on request or risk going to prison under proposed new laws in Australia`s most populous state to be introduced to Parliament next week.
The New South Wales state government said today that under the law, police would be able to require anyone to remove a face covering for identification purposes including a burqa, niqab, helmet or mask.
Penalties for those who refuse would include a year in prison.
State Premier Barry O`Farrell said those who want to be identified privately for cultural and religious reasons would be able to go to a police station.
The legislation has been condemned by many as an overreaction to a traffic case involving a Muslim woman driver in a "niqab," or a veil that reveals only the eyes.